holy surrender, John Foley, prayer, readiness, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Louis Jesuits, The Sophia Center for Spirituality
Sometimes there is a possibility of finding poem or a piece of music or some other way of expression that approximates an inner state. Here’s what I mean.
During the prolific period of “new music” for liturgy in the Catholic Church, especially in the 1970s, there was a group called The St. Louis Jesuits who produced an abundance of beautiful songs that lifted the spirits of millions of churchgoers and others in powerful ways. These men and their music continue to be revered for their interpretations of Scriptural texts and traditional prayers written in the 16th century by St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the religious community, the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits. There is a rich history to be learned from and about them, but I digress as this is a very personal story.
I am grateful to St. Ignatius and to the St. Louis Jesuits for the song entitled Take, Lord, Receive by John Foley (easily found the internet) based on the famous prayer of holy surrender. In addition to the beautifully simple and straightforward text and music being sung, I also find myself moving in a dance that completes the experience. Simple gestures of bowing and reaching with raised arms…or whatever feels right can deepen the prayer in ways that words alone or words and music reach for but often do not achieve.
It is a struggle to explain an experience that is wordless. My suggestion is to give yourself the permission to be in the experience and see what happens. Listen first to the song in silence, then open your heart in surrender, and finally move the experience to its fullness in the dance. Remembering that repetition is a necessary component of any spiritual practice, it may take awhile, rather than just one attempt. But here’s a secret: “The readiness is all” and there are no failures possible.